WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 16, 2020
TOPIC: TROUBLE TEACHES THE ARROGANT HUMILITY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Hard times and trouble are God’s way of getting our attention!” (Job 36:15 Contemporary English Version).
There is the tendency for some people to be arrogant or proud when things are going on well for them. They tend to look down on others, and are quick to judge and condemn them. They pride themselves on their achievements and successes and see themselves as having superior wisdom or knowledge.
But everything will change when life’s troubles come as uninvited guests, making a mess of their supposed wisdom, competence, experience, successes. When what has been working stops working, they now see themselves at the same level with others, if not lower level than those they had thought were inferior to them.
Those going through life’s troubles are no longer arrogant or pompous; they’re now sober. They now appreciate what others have been going through; they become more lenient with others. The troubles could be financial, health, spiritual, etc. In such a situation, particularly when such people have tried different means without any solution, in most cases, they tend to be humble.
Job 36:15 says, “Hard times and trouble are God’s way of getting our attention!” (Contemporary English Version). God does no evil, but He could permit someone to experience negative things so as to secure his attention and for him to learn some lessons. There is a story behind the humility of some people or certain virtues you cherish in them.They probably were not like that before.
The Word of God is the best teacher. Unfortunately, some people won’t listen to the Word of God because of their status, success, wealth, and so on. However, their garments of arrogance are removed during a period of illness, financial crisis, marital problem, career crisis, unemployment, failure, etc.
Do you know anyone who is arrogant or pompous at the moment and will not listen to the Word of God? If God wants to help him, He will allow him to experience some trouble that he could not immediately or personally overcome! In most cases, the bigger the trouble, the humbler the person could be.
God hates arrogance or pride. He says in Isaiah 13:11, “I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (New King James Version).
Hannah said, “Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don’t speak with such arrogance! The LORD is a God who knows your deeds; and he will judge you for what you have done” (1 Samuel 2:3 New Living Translation). According to Proverbs 8:13, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate” (New King James Version).
The number one enemy of the arrogant or proud, is God. 1 Peter 5:5 says we should all be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Also, James 4:6 says God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Someone might feel on top of the world now. He could become arrogant or proud because there is nothing he wants that he can’t get. But when God is ready to cut him down to size and make him realize that he is still a human being, He will allow him to face a situation that all he is and has won’t be able to save him. He will come to the end of himself.
When someone is in trouble, he may need to humble himself, forget his status, wealth and the like, and approach for help those who he has considered inferior to him or far below him. These are people that normally he would feel too big to interact with. Nevertheless, there could still be a few people who would not pocket their pride or swallow their pride at such a time to reach out to others for help. Such arrogant people could be regarded as being also foolish, and they could die or persist in their troubles.
Some people despise others until they are in trouble and they cannot deliver themselves. Why should a human being despise a fellow human being? There is no justification for it – whether you’re a billionaire, a president, the pastor of the largest church in the world, or whatever.
The Bible says, “God is mighty, yet He does not despise anyone! He is mighty in both power and understanding” (Job 36:5- New Living Translation). According to Psalm 69:33, the LORD hears the poor, and does not despise His prisoners. Why should anyone despise another person?
In Judges 11, the brothers of Jephthah thought they were better than him, because his mother was a harlot. They drove him away. But it wasn’t Jephthah’s fault that his mother was a harlot. He didn’t choose his mother, so why should they treat him unfairly? But when trouble came, which was beyond his brothers’ power, they sent the elders of Gilead to beg him to come and lead them to war against the Ammonites
Judges 11:7-8 says, “So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, ‘Did you not hate me, and expel me from my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?’ And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, ‘That is why we have turned again to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the people of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead’” (New King James Version). Did you see that?
They begged the same person they had expelled to come and be the leader of Gilead. His brothers and the elders were taught humility by the trouble of life. However, Jephthah still wanted to be sure that the promise to concede leadership to him was genuine. Once bitten twice shy!
“So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, ‘If you take me back home to fight against the people of Ammon, and the LORD delivers them to me, shall I be your head?’ And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, ‘The LORD will be a witness between us, if we do not do according to your words.’ Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD in Mizpah” (verses 9-11 New King James Version).
What about King Rehoboam and his people, the nation of Judah? Because things were going very well for them, they forsook the LORD and He handed them over to Shishak king of Egypt, a development which made them humble themselves.
Then, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance. My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they will be his servants, that they may distinguish My service from the service of the kingdoms of the nations” (2 Chronicles 12:7-8 New King James Version).
If Rehoboam and his people had not seen trouble coming, they wouldn’t have repented and humbled themselves before the LORD.
I should also mention the proud king Nebuchadnezzar. Life’s trouble humbled him. He was driven from his palace to live with the beasts of the field and eat grass like an ox (Daniel 4:32). After he was restored to the throne, he said, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble those who are proud” (Daniel 4:37 New Living Translation). Don’t be proud. The troubles of life will teach the proud humility. It’s just a matter of time.
Troubles are part of life, whether you’re arrogant or not. But they could be worse for those who are arrogant. Sometimes you must face some troubles or challenges to gain promotion to the next phase or level in life.
Paul said, “I think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead. And he did deliver us from mortal danger. And we are confident that he will continue to deliver us. He will rescue us because you are helping by praying for us. As a result, many will give thanks to God because so many people’s prayers for our safety have been answered” (2 Corinthians 1:8-11 New Living Translation).
Always wear the garment of humility; don’t wait for troubles to teach you. When trouble comes, like Paul said, learn not to rely on yourself, but on God who can raise the dead.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINT: Father, I repent of any form of pride in m life. By the help of the Holy Spirit, I shall humble myself before the LORD. I shall not be arrogant or proud. I shall not pride myself on my achievements and successes. I shall give the glory to you . I shall not despise fellow human beings. I shall not look down on anyone.
(For over 270 in-depth and insightful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T.O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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